Click the image below for IoM’s look at the most worthwhile films coming out this summer!
Before we look forward to what’s coming in 2009, let’s take a look at the best of what’s already come out.
Have you still not bought this movie, the crowning moment in Donnie Yen’s long and illustrious career? I’m sure they have it at that weird place in the mall that sells oriental decor. It’s actually called Oriental Decor in my mall. This film is excellent and, better than the DVD, buy the Blu-Ray, because it’s also gorgeous and has some of the best kung fu fight scenes you’re likely to have seen in years. Great acting, a moving story…this film really has it all. Still not sure? Let’s watch Ip Man kick the asses of ten Japanese soldiers.
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Yeah, it won’t hold up on future, non-3D viewings, but as a 3D horror film, this one was fantastic. I love seeing movies digitally, and now I like them digitally and in 3D. This was great, vicious fun, and reminded me of the time when people saw horror films because they were fun, not because they wanted to be horrified.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
This film turned out even better than I was expecting. The backstory really put a different spin on the Underworld mythos, and made watching the original Underworld a different experience. Good acting, good action…all in a film about werewolves fighting vampires?
The sleeper hit of the year, thus far. I really liked Taken, but I didn’t see it becoming as big a hit as it did. Liam Neeson is great, and despite you having to suspend a monumental amount of disbelief (why doesn’t he ask his friends to help him?), you’ll find yourself riveted the entire time. Great stuff.
I actually liked The Uninvited more than the original Tale of Two Sisters. It wasn’t dumbed down like asian horror usual is when it’s remade. In fact, if anything, the story is told with just as much class and actually more suspense than the original tale, which dragged quite a bit. If you’re sworn off PG13 horror, you may want to give it another shot with this one.
Friday the 13th
This didn’t reinvent the wheel quite like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake did, but for a Friday the 13th movie, I thought it was really damn good. Basically a Jason flick with better cinematography, it successfully brought Jason back from the franchise graveyard, where he’s been sorely missed since Freddy vs Jason.
Most people I know didn’t love this one as much as I did. I really thought it was great. Sure, it pretty much made all its money in that first weekend, then flopped, but I think people will find more to love about it the more they watch it. There’s so much going on, and Zach Snyder’s visuals are so compelling, I think it’ll be hard to make a super hero movie this serious and this intelligent again. At least until the next Nolan Bat-flick.
Brutal, bloody, vicious, but damn great. Probably in my top 3 films this year so far. Martyrs isn’t fun, but it is an emotional roller coaster that makes its point, then pounds it into you like a fist. Great filmmaking, but not for everyone.
This summer looks pretty damn spectacular. Though Wolverine is the only comic movie this year, as opposed the many we’ve had in years past, there is a good amount of genre entertainment, and hopefully some good action and horror films. We’re not going to list all the flicks coming out this summer…just the one’s probably worth watching. 🙂
Fast and Furious – April 3
Yeah, I know, but the first The Fast and the Furious was really better than anyone expected, and hold up pretty well on repeat viewings. Fast and Furious, for all intents and purposes, is the movie that we all hopes parts 2 and 3 would be but, you know, after all this time, it’s probably going to be better than it would have been had it come sooner. Paul Walker has grown as an actor (see Running Scared) and Vin Diesel…well, we need to support the dude so we can get another Chronicles of Riddick movie. Early reviews are that the film is surprisingly good, and the trailers really kind of kick @$$. Kind of surprised they didn’t wait till summetime for it, but the summer seems overly crowded already.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – May 1
Hugh Jackman was a better Wolverine that anyone expected him to be and, not only that, he seems to really love the character. While everyone else in the X-Men films seems to demand more money as a way of getting out of doing another one, Hugh Jackman seems to genuinely love the character and was genuinely excited about returning to him for this film. We finally get to see Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, though I’m curious as to how that’s going to work, given what’s been revealed about the ending. The trailer doesn’t give me much hope, and the stories of trouble on set and reshoots have me a little worried…but it’s Wolverine, so I’ll see it regardless.
Star Trek – May 8
The trailer for the film couldn’t have been better at proving, despite the fact that it looks nothing like a Star Trek movie, it looks like a damn good one. The prequel comic that’s come out from IDW Entertainment is so good, I kind of wish that was the movie, as each page makes me smile more and more. Still, JJ Abrams is a pretty smart guy and, despite the mainstreaming of Trek continuity, I have a feeling this’ll be a lot of fun. I hear that the Next Generation cameos of the comic don’t carry over to the movie, which makes me sad. Still, if it means more Trek, and with the cast they’ve got, I’m already signed up.
Terminator Salvation – May 21
I wasn’t so sure about this one until the trailers were released, and, well, holy crap. Now I can’t wait. These films look amazingly good, and Christian Bale looks intense, as always. It scraps the Sarah Connor Chronicles chronology, which is a good thing, but does seem to incorporate the changes to the timeline cause by T2 and T3 in that the future is different than the one glimpsed in the original, just as they said it would be. The whole human/terminator storyline smells a little Battlestar Galactica-y to me, but still…I like what they’re doing with it.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – June 24
Given that the film is less than three months away, I’m surprised we haven’t gotten more than an ineffective teaser for it. Sure, we get to see big monsters, quick flashes of Shia and Megan Fox, and a bunch of ka-blooie, but not much of actual story. Still, you ask, what story? I dug the first Transformers flick and think this one will be at least as good as that.
Up – May 29
Early word is that this film is Pixar’s best an most emotional flick yet. Still, I don’t know if I should applaud or be opposed to the absolutely unmarketable way that they’re promoting the film. The trailers don’t really strike me as anything interesting (nor do they really show much of the story), and the characters seem pretty un-toy friendly. Still, I was skeptical when I heard they were making a movie where the first half featured no talking, and when I saw Wall-E, I loved it. The fat cub scout seems pretty funny, but probably not as funny as Rhino from last year’s Bolt.
Drag Me to Hell – May 29
Seems pretty ballsy releasing Sam Raimi’s horror film during the busiest month of the summer, and against Up, which will likely be a relatively decent sized hit. Still, different audiences (though, I plan on seeing both, so not really). Drag Me to Hell needs to come up with a better second trailer, and fast. That first one just elicits giggles from everyone who sees it and, despite early internet buzz saying the film is good…well, Snakes on a Plane relied on that too. Just sayin. Sam Raimi is great and all to fans of the genre, but the name isn’t enough for Joe Public to venture out, especially after the sh*tty PG-13 horror we’ve seen this year.
Public Enemies – July 1st
Not sure how I feel about dual-tommy gun wielding Christian Bale hanging out the window of a speeding car. Even William Forsythe only had one in his portrayal as Flattop in Dick Tracy, and that was definitely not based on a true story. Still, the film is by Michael Mann, who has proved time and again that, while his films may be overly long and melodramatic, dude can film an action sequence.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – July 17
Originally slated to be released last November, WB realized, after releasing Dark Knight this weekend last year, that they were going to try and have lightning strike twice. The film looks darker than the others, with a trailer that gives just the right amount away to make you want more. I haven’t read the book, but the whole world knows how this one ends (badly), so I think this may be the Harry Potter flick to see. They really have been getting better and better with each incarnation, with each new director bringing a unique visual style to the film. David Yates did some truly great stuff with the last one, and he’s back for this one, so I’ve got faith it’ll kick butt.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Aug 7
Fighting for freedom, wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there. Stephen Sommers name is mud after the Van Helsing debacle, so I doubt we’ll see mention of Van Helsing on any of the trailers, but the initial teaser, despite being overly CG and too short, seemed exciting. I can forgive an abundance of CG as long as the film is exciting and interesting. The script review we had made it seem pretty action packed, if a bit silly. And I really don’t like Marlon Wayans in my genre flicks – remember Dungeons and Dragons? Actually, now that I think about it, he was probably the best part of that film.
Final Destination: Death Trip 3D – Aug 21
The Final Destination films are bloody good fun, and refreshingly mean-spirited. Though the big death scene at the beginning of the last flick (the roller coaster) stunk, the rest of the film was really good. Nothing can beat the beginning of FD2, with the highway accidents. Still, a Nascar race, and in 3D no less…I’m game. After My Bloody Valentine in 3D, I want all my horror in 3D. It opens the same day as Halloween 2, which you don’t see mentioned here because I hated the first one. If I had to watch only one horror flick that weekend, you can imagine it’ll be the one in 3D.
Inglourious Basterds – Aug 21
Quentin Tarantino makes the types of films he wants, regardless of who he thinks wants to see them. Even his die hard fans have a hard time loving all of his films (I HATE Jackie Brown), but his last three flicks, Grindhouse and the two Kill Bills, I’ve found absolutely amazing. I’m really looking forward to this one. Any film that has Eli Roth in it as an actor is okay in my book. I just wish he’d get back to directing. The teaser trailer, talking about killing “nah-zis,” was pretty cool.
Game – Sep 4
Yup, we’re still in summer till Sept.21. That’s my opinion anyway. Game has Milo Ventimiglia, who we all love here at IoM, playing a character named Rick Rape. It’s by the guys who did Crank. It’s got Gerard Butler as a video game character who tries to escape the Game (I think…the trailer is so crazy it’s hard to tell). It’s kind of a win-win all around. Check out the trailer here.
9 – Sep 9
The problem with CG films lately is that they think that adults want to see them. I do, but Joe moviegoer does not go out of his way to see an animated film, no matter how adult it looks. 9 looks pretty damn great, and it comes from the minds of Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, about dolls on a post-apocalyptic Earth. I doubt it’ll make too much money, though.
Whiteout – Sep 11
Finally! Wasn’t this supposed to come out ages ago? A murder mystery set during the arctic winter, the movie is based on the excellent comic of the same name. It’s directed by Dominic Sena (Gone in Sixty Seconds), but all that really matters is that Kate Beckinsale is in it.
Jennifer’s Body – Sep 18
It’s by the chick who wrote Juno, which I thoroughly disliked. But it’s supposedly a horror film, which I do like. And it has naked Megan Fox, which I like tremendously. Don’t click that link at work, by the way.